'I don’t have time to exercise,' is something I hear often in my nutrition consulting practice. As pharmacists with busy schedules and long workdays, it can be challenging to get your activity in. Depending on what setting you work in, whether retail, hospital, clinical, or specialty pharmacy, you can find simple ways to move more. There are many small actions you can take to reach your activity goals.
Here are the simple, fun ways to getting more activity at work:
- Track your progress. Whether you have a FitBit or simply use the Health app on your smartphone, tracking your progress is key. If you don’t know where to start, see what your baseline step count is and make it a point to increase it each week. Monitor your progress on your app, and get your coworkers involved. There are also several apps that pay you to walk, such as the Achievement app, where you can earn points for walking, biking or swimming. They pay $10 for every 10,000 points you earn. You can also donate to charity on the Charity Miles app. You can choose from 12 different charities, such as ASPCA, Habitat for Humanity, and the Wounded Warrior Project.
- Find opportunities for activity. If you work in a retail setting and don’t get a lunch break, you can still maximize your steps through various means. Parking your car further away is one example. If you do get a lunch break, use that time as an opportunity to get your steps in. Walk around the block and bring one of your coworkers. Even a 10 minute brisk walk is beneficial.
- Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. You will be more motivated to move with comfortable footwear. Of course, you need to be mindful of your office dress code when considering options for both clothing and shoes. Taking the stairs or walking from the parking lot will be much more appealing with comfortable shoes.
- Create an office fitness challenge. Having a friendly workplace fitness challenge can help motivate you and your staff to hit your goals. Form teams, and create step goals to make the process fun, and engaging. Grab a whiteboard, measure everyone's progress, and encourage each other. Whoever gets the most steps wins a prize, and everyone increases their fitness level.
- Walk and talk. Even if you have calls, you can walk around the office to get your steps in. Every movement counts! If you work in a hospital setting, make an effort to take the stairs or the longer route to get to your rounds.
- Maximize your movements. Do calf raises while on the phone. Stand near your desk or the wall so you can place your hand on that surface for balance. Raise your heels off the floor as high as possible, and then slowly lower them back down to the floor. Repeat this several times.
When you begin to look for opportunities to move more, you’ll find them. Depending on your work setting, you can get creative and easily increase your fitness level.